Oriolus Szalayi Review

Today we take the Oriolus Szalayi in our hands, a tribrid IEM that sells for $890 USD. 


Disclaimer: The Oriolus Szalayi was sent to us by Oriolus Japan. Oriolus Japan is not affiliated with Headfonia in any way.


Oriolus is a Japanese brand that focuses on portable audio, and they always take audio quality as their priority. They’re supervised by Hibino Intersound in Japan, Tokyo.

The audiophile community has more knowledge about the Oriolus brand compared to a few years ago. They now have a neater website since I reviewed the Oriolus MK2 a long time ago, and they’re not as mysterious anymore, which is a good thing.

We have reviewed the Oriolus products four times before; the first Oriolus IEM, then the Oriolus MK2, a scintillating IEM at the time, which was the model that introduced people to this brand. We then reviewed the price/performance hybrid, Forsteni, and the entry-level Finschi.


It’s been a while since we reviewed an Oriolus product. Hopefully, they would be able to send us their samples again in the near future. We want to share their units’ performance with our readers.

Vivid, enchanting sound in pursuit of ultimate musicality.

With that being said, let’s talk Szalayi. This new Oriolus IEM is a different approach than most other hybrids in the market. It merges a 14mm Planar Magnetic Driver for mids, a 10mm Dynamic Driver for bass, and a Balanced Armature driver for highs. You can check out the specs below:

Product ID Szalayi
Body Material 3D Printing Photopolymer
Transducer Type
(per CH)
BA Driver*1
14mm Plane Diaphragm Driver*1
10mm Dynamic Driver*1
Sensitivity 110dB/mW
Freq. Response 10Hz~40kHz
Impedance 10Ω
Cord High-grade pure OFC with silver-plated
Plug Type 4.4mm Balanced

The name is of course a bird name as always with the Oriolus brand. Szalayi means “brown oriole”. Although the shell colour of the IEM suggests otherwise. It’s a specie that can be found in New Guinea.


The package content is minimal as usual from Oriolus. When you open the cardboard box you see the IEM on a foam surface. Under that surface, you have your ear tips, a cleaning tool, a shirt clip, and a warranty card. Unfortunately, there’s no carrying case available with the standard package.

However, I’ve heard a carrying case can be obtained from certain dealers for a small fee. I think a case should’ve been standard with an IEM of this calibre. Other than that, the content is good enough but poor for the price bracket compared to rivals. On another note, the cable strap is nice. 


The cable is very ergonomic and easy to use, and thanks to the fabric material outside, it’s soft and comfortable. Inside, the cable has silver-plated OFC wires, and the 4.4mm plug comes as standard. 

This is by no means a special cable, yet the user experience is quite good. Especially the fabric material makes it very comfortable for daily use. The y-split and connectors are also well made and they look stylish overall.

Build Quality and Design

I think Oriolus has its standards regarding the build quality. In all of its products, a certain quality of the shell is achieved, from the old MK2 to the current flagship Trailli. There is no situation where the build quality increases proportionally with the price change, as far as I can tell over the years. The cheapest-priced products and the most expensive products are of similar quality.

The build quality is also the same to me therefore there’s no big difference. The shell feels quite solid with a unibody design, the closing of the faceplate is seamless and the nozzles are very sturdy. The 3D-printed shell, sockets and nozzles are quite resistant to daily wear and are very solid and well-settled. Oriolus continues to use the recessed 2-pin sockets with its monitors, which I always like.

The design is of course open for debate, since this time the colour is much more splashy and vivid. The blue colour is just glowing, detailed with small dots on top. I think it looks refreshing, but you might prefer a more subdued design language. 


The design of the new Szalayi is quite familiar to the former siblings. The overall shape of the shell is round and the inside part is shaped ergonomically to fit most ears. Of course, ear structure varies from person to person. Szalayi is not a very small IEM. However, the fit has always been on the positive side in Oriolus IEMs for me, and so is Szalayi.

Despite the planar driver, the fit has not been compromised. I can’t say anything negative about this part as the old MK2 also fits me well. But if you prefer smaller IEMs, the Szalayi is still a bit bulky, so to each their own. 

The isolation I think is at the best possible level considering it’s a hybrid universal IEM. Of course, there is a slight disadvantage because of the air vent for the dynamic driver. Yet, the Szalayi fits so well, that you probably won’t feel that small drawback that much like with other hybrid monitors.

Page 2: Sound Quality
Page 3: Technical Performance, Conclusion
4.3/5 - (32 votes)

A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.


  • Reply November 17, 2022


    I honey-mooned the SZA for 2 months now. Playing off my desktop and Shanling M8. The SZA is absolutley incredible, but it needs that power to shine!

  • Reply November 28, 2022

    Obileye Obiyemi

    How does it compare to the Oriolus Szalayi please? Sound quality wise? which one is more musical, engaging, fuller sounding, fuller mids, etc Thank you!

  • Reply November 28, 2022

    Obileye Obiyemi

    Sorry I meant to say how does Szalayi compare to the Empire Ears Bravado mk2 please? Thank you!

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